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Thursday, March 4, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

On the 14th, the Partido Verde (Green Party) of Colombia will hold its presidentialGarzon, Mockus and Penalosa primaries. Here’s an ad from their site that features the three candidates (known colloquially as "The Three Tenors"): Anatanas Mockus, Enrique Peñalosa, and Lucho Garzón. Each has been mayor of Bogotá Mockus twice) and the video (which is basically visuals-only, so is friendly to non-Spanish speakers) highlights the achievements of each.  My favorite part is the beginning with Mockus’ first stint in office when he went on an anti-litter campaign (dressed in the video in his Super Citizen costume) as well as a pro-courtesy campaign (for lack of a better word).  He determined (correctly, I might add—and I was a resident of the city at the time) that part of Bogotá’s woes came from simple things like disregard for common courtesy in terms of things like trash on the streets and disregard for basic traffic rules. 

One of the things he did was hire mimes (yes, mimes) to use humor to make fun of people who ignored rules (like jaywalking and crossing the street against the light, and so forth) as a means of public education.  By all accounts, there were successful policies.  I saw firsthand the beginnings of the anti-litter campaigns, for example.

At any rate, SuperMockus and the mimes alone are worth a quick look at the video.

Peñalosa oversaw the installation of the first major improvement in public transportation in the city, the Transmilenio bus system (which I am looking forward to seeing, but whose effects are currently diminished by the transit strike).  The still image below is a of the platforms for one of the Transmilenio stations.



Photo source:  Semana

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